Competition: Premier League – Norwich City vs. Sunderland
Venue: Carrow Road – Saturday, April 16 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)
Match Odds: Norwich 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – Sunderland 21/10
This is as much of a six-pointer as you can get in the top flight. A win for 17th placed Norwich City would see them go seven points clear of 18th placed Sunderland and would really ease their relegation fears ahead of the final few games.
Norwich come into the game with better form and with two wins from their last three, they are clear favourites for the three points on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
However, those two wins were their only wins in the last 13 games in the Premier League. The lack of long-term form from the Canaries is alarming and the loss to Crystal Palace last weekend saw them thrust straight back into the relegation spotlight.
They remain four points clear of the drop heading into the weekend, although Sunderland have a game in hand. Logic would suggest that if the Canaries avoid defeat on Saturday, they will be in pole position to stay up.
Sunderland are quite the opposite as they are without a win in six. The 2-0 loss to Leicester City last weekend showed signs that things aren’t going to fall in place for the club, with Jack Rodwell’s miss from six yards proving that it’s going to be a real battle for the Black Cats to stay up.Embed from Getty Images
The game in hand may prove to be crucial, but a loss on Saturday will see morale drop significantly as well as the chances of overturning a seven-point difference with four matches to play.
A win on Saturday, however, would be the biggest result for Sunderland this season as they seek to stay up. All eyes will be on this relegation clash and you’d be a fool to miss it.
Norwich will be without Alexander Tettey (ankle) and Timm Klose (knee) through injury. Russell Martin is a doubt as he’s carrying a knock.
Sunderland have only one worry as Duncan Watmore is a doubt with an ankle injury so he’s unlikely to feature. Apart from that, Sunderland are at full strength and so Sam Allardyce will be able to field what he sees as his strongest possible team.
Norwich’s last five: L/D/W/W/L
Sunderland’s last five: D/D/D/D/L
Key Stat: Norwich City are unbeaten in their last five matches against Sunderland in the Premier League.
Key Player: Jermain Defoe – At crucial points in games, the former England international can produce magic in a flash. If he gets the service he requires, Defoe can fire Sunderland to three points on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
Norwich 1-2 Sunderland – Norwich have won two games in the last three in the league but all their hard work will be undone should they lose come Saturday. Sunderland tested Leicester last time out and barring a few missed chances should have won the game. In this make-or-break clash, we expect the visitors to narrowly edge it.